COLUMBUS – State Representative Laura Lanese (R-Grove City) today announced that House Bill 33 was signed into law by Governor DeWine. House Bill 33, sponsored by Lanese and State Representative Sara Carruthers (R-Hamilton), would require some licensed occupations to be mandatory reports of animal abuse.
The legislation implements cross-reporting mechanisms and procedures to ensure law enforcement is notified of suspected abuse against a companion animal. Under House Bill 33, veterinarians and social service professionals are required to report suspected animal abuse to law enforcement officers or humane agents.
“The abuse of animals is clearly linked to all forms of violence from domestic violence and child and elder abuse to forms of community violence, such as school shootings and serial killings,” said Lanese.
The link is so strong that the FBI created a database in 2015 to track these types of crimes to protect the community from future acts of violence. By increasing communication between law enforcement officers and social service professionals, this bill will help keep Ohioans safer.
“We have seen how the pandemic and subsequent stay-at-home orders have exacerbated the already troubling situation of domestic violence, child abuse, and elder abuse, so the enactment of this law could not have come at a better time to protect the most vulnerable in our communities,” Lanese remarked.
The Senate unanimously passed House Bill 33 on December 17 and will receive Governor DeWine’s signature today. The bill signing can be viewed here.